KUALA LUMPUR: Double champions Terengganu are still sore over the opening game 6-2 loss to Kuala Lumpur Hockey Club (KLHC).
The east coast side now want to exact revenge when they take on KLHC in the last Premier Division match at the Batu Buruk Hockey Stadium in Kuala Terengganu on Friday.
Defender Azlan Misron, who left KLHC to join Terengganu in 2013, believes that they have found their momentum to score their first win over KLHC this season.
“It’s not just about revenge for the earlier defeat, but to ensure that we retain the title.
“Last year we won our first title at home and we want to repeat the feat. We’re hitting form at the right time,” said Azlan on Monday.
Terengganu took over the lead for the first time this season when they edged Maybank 3-2 at home on Sunday. KLHC dropped to second after they could only manage a 4-4 draw with Sapura at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil.
Terengganu have 24 points from nine matches in the six-team league, one more than KLHC.
All Terengganu need now is a draw to retain the crown. But they are not going to be satisfied with a draw.
Said Azlan: “I think the main thing is to ensure that we play as a unit. We are quite good defensively, but our strength is the forward-line. The forwards have been scoring in the last few matches.”
KLHC are not giving up, though.
“Terengganu are the favourites as they have home ground support. At this stage we’ve nothing to lose but go for a win,” said KLHC coach K. Dharmaraj.
The main problem with KLHC is their slow start. Against Sapura, KLHC trailed 2-0 and 4-2 before fighting back to secure a point.
“We have been slow starters in most of the matches. We need to look into it as we cannot afford to trail Terengganu. But we’re confident of solving this problem,” said Dharmaraj.
It all points to an interesting showdown. Both Terengganu and KLHC have several potential match winners.
For Terengganu, they have international forward Faizal Saari who is the top goalscorer in the Premier Division with 12 goals. Mohamed Firhan Azhaari and Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin can also be counted on to deliver the goods.
As for KLHC, they will rely on Ali Shan and Mohamed Rashid Baharom. The two Pakistans have netted five goals each.